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When you declutter the clothes in your closet, you are committing an intentional act that allows you to examine who you are and the image you wish to present. It offers the opportunity to define the style that represents an authentic you.
Consider it your own private debutante party where you present your royal self to your little corner (or closet) of the world.
Why do you have so many clothes anyway?
For many women buying clothes is not an intentional act. We spend a lot of time, money, and energy stuffing our closets with little thought of the big picture. What’s the purpose?
From the beginning of time, women have been the ‘gatherers’. Primitive women scurried across the landscape picking up what they could find. Times change and the gathering women do certainly changed with it.
When today’s woman ventures out, she is greeted with the bright lights and colorful displays of modern malls where she can get exactly what she desires. At least she can get exactly what society tells her she desires.
Then we have to address the numerous opportunities to shop without even bothering to put on any clothes. From the comfort of your home, you can shop online for the smallest or largest thing you could possibly think you wanted.
Add the brilliant plan of advertisers and merchandisers to seduce you and you have a whole society of women convinced they must shop with every season for everything.
No, we no longer gather things to survive physically. Today, we shop to satisfy our psychological and emotional need to have what we want by making independent choices. But when you look at your closet, can you honestly say all those choices are what YOU wanted?
Our consumeristic society inundates us with a message that more is better (more often they make you believe it’s necessary). The executives sitting behind the desks of those incredibly successful clothing companies know exactly what they want (your money) and they aren’t hesitant to go after it.
When you declutter the clothes in your closet, you should give some thought to what you really want in the future. Then you go after it (instead of what the big executives want you to do).
For more thoughts on consumerism, read this post on material possessions.
Benefits Reaped When You Declutter the Clothes in Your Closet
The benefits of decluttering the clothes in your closet are deep and meaningful. When you consider the value of good self-esteem and saving time for meaningful moments, the effort spent on this task is priceless.
You can start your day on a positive note.
By removing all the clothes that don’t fit, the ones you spent way too much money on, and the clothes that don’t fit your lifestyle, you aren’t faced with a sense of guilt or failure each morning.
Failure to lose the weight you felt you should dissolves. Failure to maintain the youthfulness society expects to see vanishes. The guilt of not maintaining a high pressure career crumbles.
The conscious choices you’ve made about who you are are properly represented by the contents of your closet. You can start the day with confidence.
You are injecting more time into every day.
Having too many options can lead to major indecision. Indecision will suck a ton of time out of your day. That’s probably time you could use for more enjoyable activities.
Reducing the amount of clothing you have enables you to make easier, quicker decisions. Decluttering ensures your choice will be a superb one because you’ve tossed all the bad options. No need for second guessing your selection.
9 Steps to Declutter the Clothes in Your Closet
Cleaning out a closet full of clothes you’ve spent years accumulating may take time. Allow yourself a full weekend to get her done and decide to have fun with it.
You should consider inviting a friend to join your adventure. Having a second opinion can be helpful (not to mention the second pair of hands you can put to work).
Remember to put on your favorite play list and enjoy some scrumptious snacks while whittling away at your closet makeover.
Take care of the prep work first with these 3 steps.
- Take everything out of the closet. Gather the piles of clothes from the laundry room. Pull all the clothing out of your drawers. Grab the clothes you have draped over the treadmill. Find the bins stashed away in the basement. Take a before picture of EVERYTHING. This is the moment you realize you have way more clothes than you thought you did.
- Clean the closet space. Wipe off shelves. Sweep the floor. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, paint the walls with a fresh coat of your favorite color (no one will see that burst of bubble gum pink). You’re working to make your morning routine a pleasurable experience.
- Try on every piece of clothing you own. Take a picture of you wearing it and decide at a glance if you like what you see. A picture is easier to critique than your reflection in a mirror. Just think of it as a little fashion show and you’re the top model.
Declutter the pile of clothing with these 3 steps.
- Purge into 5 categories: Sell, donate, trash, recycle, or keep. Have a box or bag labeled for each of these options. Consider options for the donations in advance. Do you have a local women’s shelter?
- Now onto the meat of the project. Purge anything that is ill-fitting or doesn’t either make you feel like a badass or all warm & fuzzy. Consider items that are stained, have tears, or might be impossible to coordinate with anything else in your wardrobe. Be decisive.
- Create a pile of the clothes you absolutely love. Give some thought to the seasons you have. Can you use items across multiple seasons by adding a sweater or jacket? Group items that can be worn together. I love creating complete outfits as I sort through the clothes.
3 steps to pull the masterpiece together.
- Consider organizing tools that will help keep your closet tidy. Do your shoes need a place to land? A shoe rack can keep them in a neat row. Love those scarves? Perhaps a special hook would keep them hanging tight.
- Hang remaining clothes in closet. Organize by purpose, by coordinating pieces, or by colors. Investing in a set of nice hangers can add a finished touch. Bins can be used to keep folded clothes neatly tucked in place.
- Place a basket beside or inside your closet to make purging convenient on an on-going basis.
Maintaining the final results
Decluttering the clothes in your closet should be a thoughtful process. By taking the time to consider your choices and how they make you feel, you can incorporate your wardrobe into the an authentic image of yourself.
As you continue on with your life, having this clear image will help you make purchases in alignment with your values. If your goal is to live simply, you must guard against the clutter that complicates life. If you value authenticity, you must stay aware of the pressure society places on you to conform.
Consider implementing the 1 in: 1 out rule. When you see something you have an urge to buy, decide what item in your closet it will replace. At the very least, this system will make you think about the impact of your purchase.
Be sure to comment with your before & after pictures. Everyone loves a good before & after!